Those lousey biscuits

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Forum topic by mandatory66 posted 08-23-2013 03:24 AM 1744 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View mandatory66's profile


202 posts in 2368 days

08-23-2013 03:24 AM

Made my first raised panel today and all went well until the 2nd cross grain side was side was routed. The cut went fine but when I turned the panel over to check the cut there were two dark ovals in the middle of the bevel. At first I had no idea what had happened but the it quickly came to me that they were the biscuits I used when joining the panel together. I had made the panel oversize and cut it to dimension right over where the biscuits were located. It was not obvious unless you looked at the end of the panel , which I did not do. I really felt stupid. Will avoid using biscuits in the future on a raised panel or be sure that they are not in the bevel. Just wanted to share a mistake and hopefully prevent others from doing the same.

20 replies so far

View realcowtown_eric's profile


617 posts in 2174 days

#1 posted 08-23-2013 03:45 AM

And if you sand your panels to thickness before the moisture has stabilized, you’ll have biscuit shaped depressions.

Ain’t technology wonderful!

Besides, rubbed joints on panels has been defacto practice for hunners of years. Biscuits don’t improve the process on bit.

Sorry you had to find out the hard way!

Eric…in cowtown.

-- Real_cowtown_eric

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2592 days

#2 posted 08-23-2013 04:09 AM

Cabinet doors, no biscuits. doorway doors, eh, not really needed with a good glue.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2186 days

#3 posted 08-23-2013 04:38 PM

I have done the same thing before. I took my dado blade and made a pass large enough to cut the biscuit and the glued a strip of contrasting wood in place then re cut the bevel. made a nice detail.

View MAKZ06's profile


69 posts in 2042 days

#4 posted 08-23-2013 05:35 PM

I did something similar last weekend. I built a couple quick and dirty bookcases and for the tops I decided to use a big panel I had glued-up about 20 years ago and then never built the kitchen table because we moved. I ripped it to the right width and cut one to length no problem. When I cut the second one in slightly different location across the grain I got the reminder that I had used biscuits between the boards… Oh well, after some cussing, followed by some chisel work I plugged them with some end-grain pieces and now you can’t find them unless you know what you are looking for.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6349 posts in 3432 days

#5 posted 08-23-2013 06:22 PM

I don’t like useing biscuits….I tried them on several ocassions, but figured out they add no strength to the work at all…..only allignment, and those were usually off…So for years now, I just do glue-ups w/o them…...

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....!!

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2529 days

#6 posted 08-24-2013 02:21 AM

Personally, I’m a big fan of biscuit jointery, but not for raised panels and drawer fronts where I want to be able to match the grain (as best as one can) over a broad area. For this latter type of jointery, I like to glue the boards using a finger joint (c.f., but mine is an old Lonni Bird design made my Amana). Just an option to consider in the future.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View mandatory66's profile


202 posts in 2368 days

#7 posted 08-24-2013 07:03 PM

I used the biscuits primarily for alignment, but I still have to plane the panel flat or sand the joints. Those finger joints look good, seems they will help with alignment and provide more surface area for glue.

View Split's profile


33 posts in 1976 days

#8 posted 08-26-2013 07:57 PM

You can always raise the lever of the cutter by putting a piece of breadboard under the cutter and not under the work piece. I have that with biscuits and dowels. Thanks for the reminder though.

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 2275 days

#9 posted 08-26-2013 08:03 PM

Suppose you were building a quilt rack and were really rushed for time so fancy joinery was out of the question. Would you use biscuits?
Picture something like a giant-sized toilet paper holder. There is a board 4-5” high on the back, and it attaches to the wall. Two sides attach to that board, and a long fat dowel hangs between those two boards. Then a large quilt hangs on the dowel. So all the weight(Yes quilts can get heavy) is hanging on the two ends, and the only thing keeping them from snapping off the back is whatever is holding them on that 5×3/4” strip where they connect. Would a couple of 0 sized biscuits strengthen that joint?

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5816 posts in 3050 days

#10 posted 08-26-2013 08:09 PM

I don’t use biscuits in door panels. I make flat panels, so the panel raising isn’t the issue for me. I plane my panels to 1/2” thick, and I generally won’t use biscuits on stock less than 3/4”.

That said, I still use some biscuits on almost every project.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Fuzzy's profile


298 posts in 4225 days

#11 posted 08-27-2013 12:55 PM

Biscuits, just like any other technique must be carefully thought out beforehand …it’s not the biscuit’s fault it was cut into the wrong location !!!

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6349 posts in 3432 days

#12 posted 08-27-2013 03:24 PM

It’s not that I don’t use biscuits on projects….I still do….It’s just that I’ve gotten selective about where I use them, and on what project….A lot of my projects surfice with just a good glued -up joint, or mating, such as wide boards for a table top where allignment is pretty critical, without having to do a lot of planing and sanding….I find this true, and a lot of work when the boards don’t “mate up” good, so it depends on the project….I’m not for or aganist them…..Just depends on the circumstances…......Chow…...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....!!

View a1Jim's profile


117417 posts in 3814 days

#13 posted 08-27-2013 03:37 PM

In my opinion biscuits went out of favor when Norm went off the air. Some folks like them for panels for alienment purposes but I think there more of a hassle than there worth .With modern glues there’s no need for biscuits.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6349 posts in 3432 days

#14 posted 08-27-2013 03:47 PM

My sentiments exactly, Jim…..When Norm left, he took his biscuit cutter with him…….!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....!!

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11147 posts in 3666 days

#15 posted 08-27-2013 04:30 PM

Sold my biscuit jointers years ago. Found that they were as Jim said, “more hassle than they were worth”.
Didn’t add strength to any joint. If strength is needed I always use a spline. Splines provide alignment as well.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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